Fancy Farm Picnic serves as family gathering place for many

07/27/2017 08:47 AM

FANCY FARM – While politics is the main reason for some, who attend the Fancy Farm picnic, lost in all of the hoopla is the fact that the picnic also serves as a “homecoming” for the families of the area.

Each year, many, who have little interest in the state political scene, return from other areas of the state and country, to join their family members to help prepare and work at the annual gathering.

Father Darrell Venters, who has served a pastor at St. Jerome Catholic Church since 2009, says that it sometimes gets lost that the main reason for the picnic to begin with is to serve as a fundraiser for the parish.

“It funds things like youth ministry, our mission program, we send a group to our sister diocese in Mandeville, Jamaica on a mission trip, so it funds the mission work of the church,” Venters said. “Some of it is also used to put back into the picnic grounds for capital improvements as the facilities age and things like that. I think we probably net around $100,000 a year.”

The picnic also serves as a “homecoming” for many families in the area, as people return to help their respective families with the event.

“An example would be one of the booths where they cook the meat, those guys that live here, their sons will come back and their cousins, everybody will come back in from different places that weekend to help out,” Venters said. “We really do need those people to keep coming back in. I was talking to some of the people who cook the meat, and they’ve been doing it for over 40 years.”

Organizers say that 190 gallons of corn; 400 pounds of lima beans; 1,400 pounds of potato salad; as well as mounds of fresh Cole slaw and vine-fresh, home grown tomatoes will be served at this year’s picnic dinner served in the Knights of Columbus hall.


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